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the captain of the nerd brigade and the apple trees - blue dog blog™
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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Friday, August 22nd, 2008 09:13 pm
the captain of the nerd brigade and the apple trees

-or-

what happens when my girlfriend works a friday night shift and I have no poker game to go to

Took advantage of the weather to thin some fruit off my two apple trees today. Fate denied me a cherry harvest this year but has bestowed a bumper crop of apples, which are currently only halfway ripe, but so densely packed on that the normally vertical branches are bowing so low that I'm surprised some haven't snapped yet.


If I don't cull some, they'll just pop each other off the tree as they get bigger. But I'm not very good at it: many of the ones I intended to leave on the tree came tumbling down as well, and surprisingly, getting bonked in the face by a green apple is only funny about the first dozen times.


I didn't count how many I picked, but afterward I got curious. Fortunately, I remember some math. Plus, I has internets.

I assumed that:
  • the garbage can I tossed them into (not the recycle can above) is roughly cylindrical (diameter 15 inches, filled to depth of 20 inches);
  • the average diameter of the apples is 2 inches, and the average volume is somewhere between that of a sphere and a spindle torus, both with a 2-inch diameter;
  • the apples approximate random monodisperse close packing behavior;
  • the volume fraction is probably between that of spheres (0.64) and M&Ms (0.68). In actuality it's probably higher because of the size variation of the apples, but I'm being conservative.
I come up with 700. I picked 700 apples today?

And there are probably at least half that many left on the trees.

Tags:

16CommentReplyShare

horror_romance
horror_romance
mega mega mega awesome babe
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)

what kind of apples are they? may i have some when they ripen!?


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)

My Dad thinks they're winesaps. This was my entire harvest two years ago, but if this year I have enough to share, I will certainly let you know.


ReplyThread Parent
ohhjuliet
ohhjuliet
Lauren
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC)

Can you DO anything with all those apples?


ReplyThread
ohhjuliet
ohhjuliet
Lauren
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)

I mean if nothing else, is there someone you can throw them at?


ReplyThread Parent
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)

Ooh good call, there's a number of squirrels around here.


ReplyThread Parent
cheekyspanker
cheekyspanker
cheekyspanker
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)

did you take them to the zoo? the animals would love them.


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)

Oh yeah? Nope, they're just in the recycle bin now, with a lot of other stuff.


ReplyThread Parent
bellybalt
bellybalt
Belly
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)

Too bad you couldn't weigh them all, then divide by the average weight of one apple. I wonder what result that methodology would give you, and how it would compare to the other methodology you used.


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)

Hopefully similar, and at least it would have provided another estimate to see if the first was way off. I dumped them into the recycle bin before that option occurred to me. :)


ReplyThread Parent
drjeff
drjeff
Raoul Duke
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)

You're cute, but if I see you counting the number of pumps that it takes to fill my raft, I'm kicking your ass.


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sistermaryeris
sistermaryeris
Bake, Love, Kickbox.
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)

That is a LOT of apples. :)


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ellettra
ellettra
Na zdraví
Sunday, August 24th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)

OH MY GOD. when i first looked at the picture of the apples in the tub, i thought it was a rubbermaid tub, as i had not scrolled down sufficiently. i thought, "whoa, that's a lot of apples." then i realized it's a DAMN DUMPSTER! good lord man! what on earth are y'all going to do with all those apples? your honey, while clearly the queen of all things pie, surely can't make use of all 700 of them!

i'm impressed with your pickin' arm, that's for sure.


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Sunday, August 24th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)

Ha - the ones I picked are the rejects from thinning out what's on the trees, they're probably incredibly sour. :)


ReplyThread Parent
ellettra
ellettra
Na zdraví
Sunday, August 24th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)

ah!


ReplyThread Parent
beccalavelle
beccalavelle
becca
Monday, August 25th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)

My parents have an orchard on their farm in Dexter, OR.
When I stayed with them this Spring they had me thin out the baby apples. If you cut them off when they are tiny and leave only half on the branches, the ones you have will be bigger and sweeter. I don't know if this is what other people do, but it works pretty good for my parents.


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Monday, August 25th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)

Awesome. Good to know this strategy works. :)


ReplyThread Parent